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TheHeroOfTime

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I've had the realisation that the engine Bethesda uses since Morrowind in every game they develop (I think Starfield also has it) it's not actually that terrible. During the years I've seen people online claiming that this engine is outdated, or even that it's the cause of why these games tend to have so many problems and bugs. But after years seeing what the modding community can achieve with it, I just think Bethesda are a bunch of useless game developers.





These videos are just examples of what can be made on this. Yes, I know. These mods are the typical muh inmershun improvements. But there's also a lot of quest mods very solid designed. And complete overhauls about how the RPG stats work. Shit, there's even an entire game (Enderal) made using Skyrim as a base. Even porn, adult content videos have been made using the modded game as framework :incline:



tl;dr

Gamebryo is not bad and Bethesda it's just impotent garbage. Thanks for reading me.
 

Glop_dweller

Cipher
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
977
I have no qualms with Gamebryo. It does have flaws, limited animation options, but it's capable. I don't like how Bethesda used it in their pathetic attempts at Fallout games, but I'm fine with it in the TES games, and many other games I have seen made with it.
 
Unwanted
Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
50,711
Codex Year of the Donut
software that is continually worked on doesn't get outdated, it's not a car engine.

throwing away years upon years of work in customizing it to their needs + editor-specific tooling would be insane, close(but worse than) to what bioware did when they threw their engine out and replaced it with frostbite with disastrous results
 

Hellion

Arcane
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
1,504
It's highly moddable, customizable, and works fine for smaller scale projects or for mods like the Forgotten City.

The problem is that it's always being used primarily as an engine for sprawling open-world games with bustling cities that are supposed to be inhabitted by hundreds, if not thousands of NPCs. And it clearly cannot pull that off without making the world seem anticlimactically empty.
 
Unwanted
Joined
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Messages
50,711
Codex Year of the Donut
It's higly moddable, customizable, and works fine for smaller scale projects or for mods like the Forgotten City.

The problem is that it's always being used primarily as an engine for sprawling open-world games with bustling cities that are supposed to be inhabitted by hundreds, if not thousands of NPCs. And it clearly cannot pull that off without making the world seem anticlimactically empty.
The issue may have been the technology when Skyrim first rolled around but if it happens again it's on the designers this time.
There are 'small' settlements in FO76 with more NPCs than an entire Skyrim "city". Performance was definitely not one of that game's issues.

Similarly, Enderal ran like shit for me but the SKSE version of Enderal runs great.
 

TheHeroOfTime

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Perfomance is a issue in consoles though. Back in 2011 I remember I used to spawn hundreds of NPCs with console commands with no problem, and creatures (Like dragons) too. There were mods like Warzones that made small battlefields appear with a bunch of NPCs randomly. But probably PS3/360 would explode if trying something like this.
 

Gargaune

Magister
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
2,171
The engine's a solid workhorse with some excellent selling points developed incrementally around Bethesda's design formula. AI states and persistence, cell management, object affordances, top-tier modularity and moddability, they're real assets. It's also got some antiquated implementations under the hood, but most of what people gripe about is just Bethesda being comfortably lazy about iterating since Todd knows we'll all buy his next game regardless, we're not talking core architectural flaws and they'd have to be crazy to move away from Gamebryo.

There are 'small' settlements in FO76 with more NPCs than an entire Skyrim "city". Performance was definitely not one of that game's issues.
Fallout 4 still has a hard cap of 40-something AI actors being active in view, I believe. We got those busier promo videos from Starfield, but we'll have to see how Bethesda handles it, whether they've expanded the limit in line with new hardware and further optimisation, or if they're bringing in a new variety of dumber, "low power" NPCs like the ambient ones from Cyberpunk.
 

Sykar

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Turn right after Alpha Centauri
Perfomance is a issue in consoles though. Back in 2011 I remember I used to spawn hundreds of NPCs with console commands with no problem, and creatures (Like dragons) too. There were mods like Warzones that made small battlefields appear with a bunch of NPCs randomly. But probably PS3/360 would explode if trying something like this.
Indeed, I remember reviews of the New Vegas console version which complained about the regular terrible FPS drops down to single digit or outright freezes, especially in more populated areas.

The engine's a solid workhorse with some excellent selling points developed incrementally around Bethesda's design formula. AI states and persistence, cell management, object affordances, top-tier modularity and moddability, they're real assets. It's also got some antiquated implementations under the hood, but most of what people gripe about is just Bethesda being comfortably lazy about iterating since Todd knows we'll all buy his next game regardless, we're not talking core architectural flaws and they'd have to be crazy to move away from Gamebryo.

There are 'small' settlements in FO76 with more NPCs than an entire Skyrim "city". Performance was definitely not one of that game's issues.
Fallout 4 still has a hard cap of 40-something AI actors being active in view, I believe. We got those busier promo videos from Starfield, but we'll have to see how Bethesda handles it, whether they've expanded the limit in line with new hardware and further optimisation, or if they're bringing in a new variety of dumber, "low power" NPCs like the ambient ones from Cyberpunk.
My favourite example for their laziness and incompetency is the Oblivion NPC Salmo. From the wiki:
"Salmo has two AI packages commanding him to take five loaves of bread to the Two Sisters Lodge at 10am and to the West Weald Inn at midday, but the packages never execute as he has no bread in his inventory and the packages are of "escort" type, meaning he doesn't actively seek any out. It's possible this bug was introduced to avoid another, more serious one: if bread is given to Salmo using the console or CS, he will walk to one of the inns as commanded, take a bite of bread, and the game will crash. "

Imagine being so terrible and lazy that you prefer to introduce a bug to prevent an even worse bug from happening.
 
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Joined
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Messages
956
The problem is that it's always being used primarily as an engine for sprawling open-world games with bustling cities that are supposed to be inhabitted by hundreds, if not thousands of NPCs. And it clearly cannot pull that off without making the world seem anticlimactically empty.
The limiter on npc density is moreso Bethesdas philosophy on unique npcs that all have ai. Games with a realistic amount of npcs achieve it by making npcs without ai that are essentially just backdrops, but Bethesda isn't interested in doing that. This is becoming less and less of a roadblock though, on modern hardware gamebryo can easily support 100 npcs on screen, instead the roadblock is the development time required for creating unique npcs.
 

Glop_dweller

Cipher
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
977
OP should be banned. Gamebyro is bad and ruined fallout.
Gamebryo didn't ruin Fallout, Todd did.

ToddHoward.jpg


Fallout New Vegas would have been a lot better if it wasn’t for Gamebyro
This could be true; they did the best that they could with what assets and limited time they were given, and with being on Bethesda's leash.
We cannot know what they would have done if these were not factors.

make_the_best_of_things.png
 
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Orud

Learned
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Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut
TES and Fallout use the Creation Engine, which is based on Gamebryo but Gamebryo itself hasn't been updated since at least 2012.
Well, the Creation Engine is a fork of the Gamebryo engine that Bethesda decided to maintain and update themselves. You can call it what you want, but calling it Gamebryo 2.0 or 1.1 is also correct.

All this talk about how shit the engine is, is stupid anyway. I almost get an aneurism these days whenever I read a redditor, or hear a youtuber, complain about how old the engine is and that they need to replace it. There is no reason to completely toss away the engine if certain aspects of it are bad, when it also has great things going for it (e.g. its inherent modability). You simply cut out the components that work and leave in the rest, that's how software works. All popular modern 3D tech shares the same damn root anyway, so what are these complainers going to do about that?

The only thing that you can really comment on is how Bethesda has implemented certain aspects of their engines and/or how their art-department used the capabilities. They don't need to switch engines, they just need to update their rigging systems (for example). They have a powerful, piss easy to understand and use toolset that works with their engine and why toss that away? To go with Unreal or Unity? For what gain? The existing tools that come with those engines are no where near as user friendly as the creation engine's.
 
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fizzelopeguss

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Equality Street.
The engine is the reason for all these games successes.

Throw away 20(?) years of modder, editor and console cmd experience and for what? slightly better animation or graphics?
 

Orud

Learned
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Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut
The problem is that it's always being used primarily as an engine for sprawling open-world games with bustling cities that are supposed to be inhabitted by hundreds, if not thousands of NPCs. And it clearly cannot pull that off without making the world seem anticlimactically empty.
I recall interviews for both Oblivion and Skyrim where they explained that the locked off cities were due to console limitations and design choices. When it comes to Oblivion in particular, I even recall that the answer was given after someone asked why levitation disappeared from the spell-list. You must not forget the constraints of the systems they had to work with. For Morrowind on the original Xbox, they literally had to secretly reboot the game everytime you entered a new area due to RAM limitations. Skyrim was designed to run on the PS3, which has 256mb of ram, so you can imagine that they were running into similar issues.

That the actual towns are small in scope and inhabitants is a design choice, not an engine limitation. ESO online follows the same design philosophy: while it can handle hundreds of players in the same location (at least, on the new US servers), the towns are still small and populated by a handful of NPC's.
 
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Morroweird

Novice
Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
46
As some noted above, the main contradiction seems to be that the engine started as a dedicated RPG platform, which means it kept track of a full statblock, status effects and inventory for every active character. That made it unpractical for crowd scenes. Look like how Warhammer needed to use a different ruleset for Fantasy Role-Play and Fantasy Battle.
 

Ash

Arcane
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
5,028
Finally, some sense on the internet on this topic. Clearly the engine is largely competent. Some physics fuckery for sure but that's quite common. Other examples can be given, but annoying dumb people just LOVE to parrot some misinformed shit they heard one time.
The problem with bethesda is their game design, and their lack of testing/QA. Always has been. Engines don't really make or break a game, game design does. I mean they can, but they don't. They're made by very intelligent people. Go program a 3D game engine from scratch, you need to be some kind of genetic freak as far as I can make out. Carmack said it's the most complicated thing he ever did by far, moreso than his NASA rocket science ventures. And then you get dumbfuck retards on the internet talking shit about that which they do not understand and cannot even begin to understand. As usual.

The one thing that triggers me about the engine, and it's most likely engine side since it is present in all their games: Hey guys, does crouching actually work in Bethesda games now? Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3, New Vegas and Fallout 4 crouching does NOT change the collision size of your character, try to crouch through any low opening and it does not let you. Jump on a table and get physically stuck (head in ceiling), crouching does not fix it, despite the camera moving down. This is some serious decline of design basics that has slipped passed each and every hand working on the games for 1.5 decades. WHY?
 
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gurugeorge

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Strap Yourselves In
From casual observation of the modding scene as an end-user, it seems to me that the Papyrus scripting system is more hated by modders than the game engine itself - it's been more responsible for crashes, from what I can gather, since if it runs for a long time with lots of complicated scripts it starts developing memory issues (? something like that, I might have worded it wrongly)
 

Orud

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Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut
From casual observation of the modding scene as an end-user, it seems to me that the Papyrus scripting system is more hated by modders than the game engine itself - it's been more responsible for crashes, from what I can gather, since if it runs for a long time with lots of complicated scripts it starts developing memory issues (? something like that, I might have worded it wrongly)
This has nothing to do with Papyrus and everything to do with how it's used or implemented:
  • If there's an unavoidable memory leak, then Bethesda needs to fix the implementation of Papyrus into their engine (they probably use some of the shelf library to interpret the scripts).
  • What is more likely, is that most modders think they're a better programmer than they really are. I've seen plenty of mods in the past where the mod creator fixed the memory leak themselves.
You need to understand how the garbage collection works of your chosen tool (Papyrus in this case) and how to avoid keeping objects alive by accident. Search for 'coding island of isolation' for an example if you're interested, since it's a mistake many beginners make.
But what most modders will do is blame the tools instead because they don't know any better, don't care or think too highly of themselves. I've been coding for 10 years professionally (more as a hobbyist) and there's a lot of inexperienced coders out there.
 
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d1r

Busin 0 Wizardry Alternative Neo fanatic
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The one thing that triggers me about the engine, and it's most likely engine side since it is present in all their games: Hey guys, does crouching actually work in Bethesda games now? Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3, New Vegas and Fallout 4 crouching does NOT change the collision size of your character, try to crouch through any low opening and it does not let you. Jump on a table and get physically stuck (head in ceiling), crouching does not fix it, despite the camera moving down. This is some serious decline of design basics that has slipped passed each and every hand working on the games for 1.5 decades. WHY?

Modders actually fixed the crouching issue in New Vegas. lol
 

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